Escape from Planet Earth

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film starts out with Scorch Supernova on a mission to rescue captured babies from a rival species. Scorch then returns back to Planet Baab where he is known as a famous hero, while at BASA his brother, Gary and Gary’s son Kip are. Soon, Gary and Scorch receive a message from Lena the head of BASA, that Scorch will be sent to the “Dark Planet” (Earth) due to an SOS call. Scorch decides to go on the mission to the Dark planet, but Gary strongly discourages him from going. After further arguing finally Gary says that he won’t be helping Scorch and quits BASA before Scorch can fire him. Gary then goes home to his wife Kira and Kip only to find out that Scorch has already gone on the mission to the Dark planet, while Kip is watching it on live TV in excitement.

Scorch arrives on Earth and lands in the desert and finds a 7-Eleven convenience store but mistakes an inflatable figure for a dying being. Scorch is then tranquilized and captured by Shanker Saunderson, the malevolent general of the US Army, and is taken to “Area 51″ where aliens from other planets are held. After finding that this has happened, Kip wants to go rescue Scorch but Gary discourages him and he himself doesn’t want to go. Kip is furious and goes to his room. Gary goes to Kip’s room to apologize and admit he is sorry that Scorch has been captured. When Gary flips Kip’s blanket open, instead of seeing Kip, he sees his dog and sees that Kip’s window is open. Knowing that Kip is going to try and save Scorch, he rushes to BASA with Kira wearing his rocket boots. They arrive to find that Kip is about to take off in a ship.

Gary manages to cancel the launch sequence, but he re-activates the sequence so Gary himself can rescue Scorch. He soon arrives on the Dark Planet. As soon as he arrives his ship immediately activates a self-destruct sequence, but Gary manages to get out. He then arrives at the same store that Scorch arrived at earlier. Gary goes inside the store, but is spotted by two men inside named Hawk and Hammer. Both Gary and the two men get freaked out by each other and try to hide from each other. After the two men realize that Gary is not a hostile alien, they offer him a slushie. Gary takes the slushie but drinks it too fast and gets brain freeze. Afterwards, Shanker’s men break into the store and capture Gary.

Gary is then taken to Shanker’s office where he is quickly removed after Shanker receives an incoming call. It is then revealed that Lena is an ally of Shanker’s as she has sent him a powerful source known as blutonium and is in love with him as he puts on an Elvis Presley-like wig when contacting her. Gary is placed in a cell hall with other alien geniuses named Doc, Io, and Thurman, who tell Gary that various human technology has been invented by them for Shanker to rip off and sell to the world so he will release them. Gary reunites with his brother, but is again annoyed by his conceited behavior. After a food fight in the cafeteria, the aliens make their way to ‘the peace shield’. Lena, meanwhile, has captured Kira, who stayed at BASA to try to contact Gary in concern for his safety. Lena then reveals her plan to give a lifetime supply of blutonium to Shanker.

After Shanker reveals the blutonium, Gary unintentionally provokes Scorch into stealing it after stating it’s dangerous power and when being chased, Scorch destroys the blutonium, causing Shanker to freeze him. He orders Gary to fix the blutonium and reveals that he’s going to destroy all of the alien planets with a laser ray the captured aliens have built due to 3 imprisoned aliens accidentally killing his dad when he was 6. Gary fixes it with help from his new friends, but Shanker goes back on his promise to release him and instead freezes him like his brother. The other aliens discover Shanker’s true intentions when he tries to destroy Baab with the laser ray, it is revealed that Gary rigged the blutonium to malfunction and destroy the laser ray, thereby releasing the captured aliens. With Gary and Scorch released from their icy prisons, the brothers, Doc, Thurman, and Io escape Area 51 and eventually find Scorch’s ship in a trailer park.

Meanwhile, back on Baab, Kip frees his mother, who stops and subdues Lena after the latter took off with the blutonium shipment (and in the midst of the battle, learns Shanker was using her). Kip guides his father to safety via mission control, but Shanker (wearing Scorch’s robotic suit that he wears on his adventures) uses a tractor beam to stop the ship, but Gary and Scorch jump on him and manage to get the suit off the villain, causing the latter and the brothers to plummet to their dooms. After reconciling, the aliens that killed Shanker’s dad rescue them and take Shanker away. After returning to Baab, Scorch marries a reporter named Gabby Babblebrook

REVIEW:

For some reason, there is an obsession with making alien themed children’s films, of questionable quality. The latest entry into this category is Escape from Planet Earth. Is this more of the same stuff we’ve seen over and over again, or something new?

What is this about?

This all-ages animated comedy follows the adventures of astronaut Scorch Supernova, a hero of the blue aliens who has a vast appetite for adventure. Ignoring his brother’s warning, Scorch sets off on a deep-space rescue that proves to be a trap.

What did I like?

Fraser. I’ve always thought Brenadan Fraser had the perfect voice for over-the-top animated characters. Finally, someone listened and cast him as one, Scorch Supernova, the cocky astronaut hero of planet Baub. Even though this character has some character deficiencies, Fraser makes him such a lovable guy that you can’t help but like him.

Color. Blue is my favorite color, and there is plenty of it to be seen here, mostly because the people of planet Baub are blue. If you’re looking for lots of color, then this is something sure to strike your fancy, because there are lots and lots of color to be seen, even in the darker scenes. It can be a little much, but I liked it, so get over yourself.

That’s how that happened. When we meet the other aliens in Area 51, it is revealed that the captured aliens are responsible for much of the technological advancement such as social networking, iPhones, etc. This may be a bit of a conspiracy theory, but it made for some funny moments, especially when you take a few minutes and think about it (and the real-life secrecy of Area 51).

What didn’t I like?

Voice casting. I mentioned earlier how Brendan Fraser was perfectly cast as Scorch Supernova. On the flip side of the coin, I have to wonder about the rest of this cast. For instance, Rob Corddry was the nerdy brother. If you know anything about Corddy, this doesn’t make much sense. Surely there had to have been someone else that would have been a better fit. Also, Jessica Alba as the villainous co-conspirator didn’t work. For me, I don’t see her as a bad guy. Now Sarah Jessica Parker, she would’ve been better suited. Perhaps they should have switched roles.

Latino. I don’t want to come off sounding like some sort of racist, but how in the bloody blue hell are there so many Hispanics in outer space?!? I’m talking about, in particular, Sofia Vergara as a reporter and George Lopez as an alien scientist in Area 51. It just seems as if the filmmakers went out of their way to find them for the specific reason of bringing in the Hispanic crowd, rather than enhancing the story.

Dead horse. There is a running joke, especially early on where the henchmen in Area 51 call each other by names that together form director names, such as James, Cameron, etc. The first time they did it was funny, but it got old quick. On top of that, this is a kids movie. Are they really going to know who James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese (called ‘Marty’) are? I think not!

When all the dust clears, Escape from Planet Earth isn’t the worst animated film that you’ll see, but it isn’t the best, either. There isn’t anything here that will make you not want to watch it, but there’s nothing that you’ll be glad you watched it, either. I wish they would have done something more imaginative with this, but other than the brain freeze thing and the wacky, waving flailing, inflatable tube man, there isn’t much imagination to be seen here. With that said, I don’t really recommend this but, at the same time, tread lightly.

3 out of 5 stars

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